It’s that time of year again: Christmas and New Year’s are quickly approaching. On the bright side, people are trying to figure out what’s on the menu where and who’s making what. Many of us look forward to celebrating food traditions (Southern-style mac ’n’ cheese anyone?) while sharing special moments with loved ones. On the other hand, the holidays can be a stressful and anxiety-provoking time of year for some of the same reasons it’s such a fun and festive time of year: lots of decisions about food and eating, and lots of people to make those decisions around.
In my experience as a dietitian, clients often handle the stress (food-related and non) of the season by choosing between two extremes: restricting themselves around the foods they love because they want to “be good,” or completely throwing in the towel and eating thoughtlessly because January is synonymous with “new year, new you.” The strategies sound like they’re total opposites, but they’re actually two sides of the same coin; they’re both ways of dealing with the food-related stress and anxiety that comes along with the holidays.
It’s pretty typical to have anxiety around food during the holidays. You may have family members pressuring you to eat more or eat less, commenting on your weight, or asking invasive questions about your health. Some of my clients consider completely avoiding holiday gatherings because of how unpleasant the experience can be. And, of course, going into this time of year is even more difficult if you have a history of disordered eating.
I want to guide you through an alternative strategy that doesn’t involve restrictions, rules, or regulations on food. There’s no need to approach the holidays (or really any time of the year) with an all-or-nothing mentality. Special diets and complete food overhauls are likely to lead to frustration and feelings of defeat because they’re so hard to maintain over time. Here are four practical tips to keep in mind if you want to eat more intuitively during the holidays.
Head over to SELF for the full article: 4 Tips For Not Feeling Super Stressed About Food During The Holidays